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Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I am an employer in the state of California. I hired a bookeeper

Customer Question

I am an employer in the state of California. I hired a bookeeper on a per diem basis, and about 8 months ago, put her on an hourly rate, working full time. I own a trucking company, and have recently updated my computer system. The program I updated to, involves bookeeping, and is running more efficiently. Due to the efficiency of the program, although it has been to my benefit, there is less work for her to do.
What is the protocal for taking her to part time, and will there be legal ramifications?
My employee in the past has sued her employers, and before talking to her, want to know the legal protocal. Thank You
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

Do you anticipate the employee may allege discrimination on some basis? If so, what basis?

How many employees do you have?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I can't see how she would. She sued her last employer, and also works as a dRealtor part itme, and tripped and fell at a house she showed, and is now suing the homeowner. I am more concerned of her getting angry. She is job specific, and she is the only one in the office that does her job. I have three employee's in the office, one is part time, and the other does data entry. She does only Bookeeping.
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
I see. Thank you for the additional information.

State law does typically permit employees and employers to terminate the employment relationship altogether at any time and without notice pursuant to the employment at will doctrine, provided there are no laws violated such as anti-discrimination laws.

There is no specific protocol for modifying an employee's terms of employment or terminating them, but you should keep in mind that you do have the right to modify her employment or even terminate her at any time as long as you are not violating any laws or your own policies. So if she becomes unreasonable or angry, you could terminate her for insubordination typically.

The law does treat a modification of terms of employment as a new offer of employment, even if the employment is continuous. The employee can either reject or accept the "new offer" and if the offer results in a reduction of hours or pay of at least 20%, the employee could reject it and seek unemployment benefits, which may be what occurs in this situation if the employee does not want to accept the part-time assignment.

Here is a link I found that provides good advice on terminating employees:

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Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Hello again Richard,

I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer to you was helpful to your understanding of the law, as regards your question.
Is there anything else that I can assist you with? If not, and if you haven’t already, would you please now rate my service to you highly? Thanks in advance!